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Old 07-24-2012, 06:23 AM   #1
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Windlass Quick Disconnect

Before I reinstall my rebuild windlass, I was wondering if there are any opinions on using a high-amperage disconnect for the wiring? Since it seems it will need annual service, it would make sense for it to be easily disconnected from power. The previous (and original) install had the jugs bolted together and wrapped in shrink. It looked like it stayed dry, but it was a pain to get apart.

Just wondering. Thanks y'all.

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Old 07-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Gonzo, I think what you are looking for is an Anderson connector. Check out Helmarparts.com then battery connectors. Also the pictures can be misleading on size. Might want to research on Anderson's site.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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I don't think you would need a quick disconnect for your windlass, you should be able to do any normal service in place. There is a circuit breaker (I hope) for the windlass so you can turn off the electrical power for safety while you work on it.

If you really want to be able to disconnect both leads, a simpler, more reliable, and less expensive option would be a terminal strip with two terminals. Put ring terminals on the ends of the power leads and ring terminals on the windlass leads, then bolt them to the terminal strip. You will need a terminal strip capable of carrying the maximum current of the windlass. Look at the rating of the circuit breaker for this information.

If you can get a terminal strip that uses threaded studs and nuts rather than screws, put the lead from the power source on the stud, then a nut, then the lead to the windlass, then another nut. This way, the power leads will stay in place when the windlass is removed.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:58 AM   #4
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Two things, Ron. First, I don't think a terminal strip would be ideal as it is in the chain locker and would be hard to insulate. Second is that while some of the maintenance could be done in place, it would be an EXTREMELY messy job. Getting the windlass off the deck and onto a bench is ideal.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
Two things, Ron. First, I don't think a terminal strip would be ideal as it is in the chain locker and would be hard to insulate. Second is that while some of the maintenance could be done in place, it would be an EXTREMELY messy job. Getting the windlass off the deck and onto a bench is ideal.
If that's your plan, fine. You may be able to find a good connector at a auto parts vendor. Tow trucks often have connectors on their jumper cables so they can just unplug them without worrying about shorting the clips together.

Thinking about removing my windlass, I would have to remove the rode (rope and chain) and do something with it, brace myself halfway into the anchor locker after removing the TV that's mounted on the door, remove the four nuts and washers from the mounting studs, then go topside, cut the sealant and pry up the windlass (and of course, disconnect the wiring). And of course, reverse the process to reinstall it.

I don't know what the maintenance involves, but if it's just lubrication and adjustment, it seems it would be easier done in place.

Your windlass may be different from mine. Mine is a Lewmar 1000 (something) horizontal model.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Tom, You will never be sorry you made your windlass easy to remove. Ron's idea of the terminal strip is an elegant solution, but I understand your reservations. Failing that, something out of this list might help. No affiliation etc etc.

Genuinedealz > anderson connector, battery plugs, plug in style, battery cable, connectors
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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It looked like it stayed dry, but it was a pain to get apart.
Keep in mind that installing a quick disconnect will add 6 more potential failure points.

If you use a self-fusing silicone tape to seal the bolt/nut/stud you will keep it dry and clean but will be able to very easily remove it when the time comes to disconnect. The stuff sticks to itself to form a rubbery molded cap on the connection but doesn't stick to the connector itself so no sticky or hardened residue to clean off or prevent the nut from being removed.

A quick and clean slice with a knife and the entire "cap' comes off in one piece leaving a clean connector exposed.

Sure beats the old cambric stuff.

http://www.arlonstd.com/Library/Broc...20Brochure.pdf
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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The Eagle has a battery on/off switch mounted in the chain locker. Why a disconnect?
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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I used to operate and maintain a lot of battery powered equipment.I learned a lot form this and transferred some of the electrical items over to my offroad vehicles.I used forklift battery connectors to connect jumper cables to plugs at the front an rear of my vehicles.I also used them for quick disconnects for winches and air compressors.I kept them coated in dielectric grease and never had a problem with them.One set of jumper cable set ups made it through three of my vehicles over seven years and was still working good when I sold my truck.In a boat you would want the female connector facing up so that vibration doesn't cause the two to separate over time.They fit together tight but constant vibration plus the weight of the cables pulling on them can cause them to pull over time.

http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/?_en...ch-alias%3Daps





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Old 07-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Keep in mind that installing a quick disconnect will add 6 more potential failure points.

If you use a self-fusing silicone tape to seal the bolt/nut/stud you will keep it dry and clean but will be able to very easily remove it when the time comes to disconnect. The stuff sticks to itself to form a rubbery molded cap on the connection but doesn't stick to the connector itself so no sticky or hardened residue to clean off or prevent the nut from being removed.

A quick and clean slice with a knife and the entire "cap' comes off in one piece leaving a clean connector exposed.

Sure beats the old cambric stuff.

http://www.arlonstd.com/Library/Broc...20Brochure.pdf

Sounds like Rescue Tape brand. Hmmm...
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:23 PM   #11
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Sounds like Rescue Tape brand. Hmmm...
Probably lots of people selling it so just as many brands. The stuff I use is a 3M product, has a clear liner, looks kind of gray. It's the real deal though, no gimmicks or scams. I have used it on the peckerheads of 200 HP 480V motors.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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Your windlass may be different from mine. Mine is a Lewmar 1000 (something) horizontal model.
Mine is also a Lewmar 1000 and regular maintenance is a lube job. Cracking the case, cleaning out any dirty grease, and re-greasing it, even on my bench at home, was literally the messiest job I have done in years. There is no way I would want to do that where it will get all over the decks.

I think I am going to need to go back to bolting the 4 lugs together. The wire gauge coming from the battery is about 2 or 4AWG and the wire built onto the windlass is something like 10AWG. So unless I use a terminal strip (that I don't trust in that wet-ish space, no sense in reinventing the wheel... I was just hoping there was a better way.

Oh well.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:05 PM   #13
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Mine is also a Lewmar 1000 and regular maintenance is a lube job. Cracking the case, cleaning out any dirty grease, and re-greasing it,
Interesting they would use grease. Both the big no-name horizontal windlass that came with our boat and the Lofrans Tigres we replaced it with have oil-bath lubrication. The Tigres even has a little viewing port so you can check the level of the oil. So no maintenance required other than making sure the unit has the right amout of oil.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:21 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Marin;95548]Interesting they would use grease... [QUOTE]

We have a Lighthouse 1501 windlass with grease. It does not require annual service though.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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Mine is also a Lewmar 1000 and regular maintenance is a lube job.
I suppose I better get out the manual and check because I don't remember anything about scheeduled maintenance.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #16
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Turns out I read the manual wrong and it says the EXTERNAL components need regular attention. HOWEVER, it's obvious to me that the two mating surfaces have such a small surface area, that water intrusion seems inevitable. All but one of the bearings had complete failure. While the book does say the equivalent to "No user serviceable parts inside", after seeing what I saw when I opened it... Bess is making a cover for it now. Draw your own conclusions :-) Moreover, the factory did tell me on the phone it "should" be checked every "couple of years". Also by their spec, I used Teflon base brand Super-Lube very generously when I reassembled.

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Old 07-25-2012, 12:12 PM   #17
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Turns out I read the manual wrong and it says the EXTERNAL components need regular attention. HOWEVER, it's obvious to me that the two mating surfaces have such a small surface area, that water intrusion seems inevitable. All but one of the bearings had complete failure. While the book does say the equivalent to "No user serviceable parts inside", after seeing what I saw when I opened it... Bess is making a cover for it now. Draw your own conclusions :-) Moreover, the factory did tell me on the phone it "should" be checked every "couple of years". Also by their spec, I used Teflon base brand Super-Lube very generously when I reassembled.

Tom-
A cover does seem like a good idea. The original (manual) windlass on my boat had a cover that was probably made by the previous owner. I might see about making a cover for this one.

Makes me wonder though, why they don't sell covers?
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:33 PM   #18
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Bess is making a pattern for ours today. Tell her what color you want and she can just make two as easily as one for a very reasonable price.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #19
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We have one of those for the 2 winches for the mst and boom to disconnect the remote wire contolls. It was there when we bought the boat 17 years ago. Each year I take a old/used nail file to the metal connectors.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #20
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Bess is making a pattern for ours today. Tell her what color you want and she can just make two as easily as one for a very reasonable price.
How much for a copy of the patterm?

I have a capable sewing machine, the skills to use it, and leftover scraps of Sunbrella.

It's one of those projects that never seems to rise to the top of the list.
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